The mother of a 27-year-old man who was stabbed and tragically killed in Nottingham shared her story with local youngsters at Trent Bridge yesterday.
Eugene Bergan died of his injuries shortly after being attacked metres from his home in December 2002.
Despite being condemned to a lifetime of sorrow and grief, mother Trish has spent the last 16 years addressing hundreds of young people, warning them of the dangers associated with carrying knives.
When Mark Clifford, Community Projects Manager of the Trent Bridge Community Trust, asked Trish for help educating young people from Rushcliffe, she didn’t hesitate.
“Mark went to school with Eugene,” said Trish. “They were friends.
“He called me and asked how I’d feel about doing this? I said ‘wholeheartedly I will do it’.
“I haven’t pulled through. I’m pretending. I’m wearing a mask.
“Eugene should be here. He would be 44. What have I been robbed of? A daughter in law? Perhaps grandchildren? Happy times, holidays, picnics, the theatre?
“I’m grieving every day for my son. It will never go away. I haven’t pulled through. I cope with life the best I can.
“I decided that I needed to get out there and talk to youngsters; make them aware of what happened to Eugene because more mothers, fathers and loved ones shouldn’t be feeling how I’m feeling.
“I never thought beyond my wildest dreams that this could happen to me. And I can’t turn the clock back.
“You have your children. They grow up. They go to school, college and university. They get a job. They get married. They have children. You have grandchildren. I die and they bury me.
"That’s what should happen.
“But I buried him. It’s happened. It’s reality. And it’s so, so wrong.”
Trisha’s moving talk was delivered to 35 youngsters aged between 11 and 16 as part of the Positive Futures programme being delivered by the Trent Bridge Community Trust on behalf of Rushcliffe Borough Council.
“My message is clear and simple,” added Trish. “Don’t take a knife out.
“Eugene is proof of what can happen. If you carry a knife you could end up dead or behind bars.
“Delivering these talks is very, very difficult. It’s heart-wrenching actually. It takes a lot of guts.
“I don’t enjoy doing it, but I do it because it’s got a purpose and I’m very proud of it.
“If one youngster takes notice, thinks about what Trisha said and makes the decision not to do that, I’ve done a good job. It’s been well worth it.
“I don’t want another mother to go through what I’ve been through, and am still going through.
“Even now I can’t believe it. I still can’t come to terms with it.
“It’s a problem all over the country and we’ve got to do something about it.”